Lucas Oil presented the 62nd Anniversary Nostalgia Night at Merrittville Speedway July 13th with Mike Bowman taking the 50 lap Lucas Oil Slick Mist 50 Jerry Winger Memorial for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds.
Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series action also saw Adam Leslie, Kevin Knapp, Tim Anderson and Tyler Lafantaisie in Victory Lane in the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman, Hoosier Stock, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite and Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Divisions.
Just prior to Race Time, Lloyd Holt and Terry St. Amand were announced as the 2013 Inductees into the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame on the CAA Stage in front of the grandstands. “Welcome to everyone tonight – especially our Alumni and their guests,” commented (Merrittville Speedway Reunion Committee Chairman) Rick Kavanagh, “while we are all looking forward to tonight’s Inductions and a great night of racing … we have to think about Jeno Begolo who couldn’t be with us tonight – we hope to see him again soon.” “I first came to Merrittville as a fan in the early 50’s,” remembered Lloyd Holt, “starting with the Jalopy Division and up – I had some great times with my brother-in-law Harvey Hainer Sr., Billy Matthews and Ray Stevens and raced against a lot of friends.” Holt who recalled rolling his race car the first time out and refiring it to finish the event replayed many other events over his career also revealed several tricks of the sport back in the day, “we needed some speed so at first we added some moth balls to the fuel and even worked on the cylinder heads and even back then you couldn’t do that.”
Terry St. Amand’s career as a driver, car owner and sponsor also began from watching the action from the grandstands having competed in 5 different decades reflected, “I never knew when to quit racing … it’s in your blood. I’d sell all my equipment off and a few years later – I’d be back into it again. Tonight is extra special for me and my family … racing is what we do.”
On the night he was inducted, it was only fitting that former St. Amand crew man Paul Wichert would lead the 20 lap Hoosier Stock Feature to the green flag in the Camaro he last raced. Right away Wichert was challenged by second generation driver James Thompson and Bryce Richardson with the three wide race eventually having Kevin Knapp join in. When it all settled down, Knapp would land in the runner up spot and took the lead before a caution would slow the pace on lap 7. Knapp with his car renumbered as 06 for the night as a tribute to his father-in-law St. Amand would resume control on the restart but was challenged by Pete Reid. Knapp edged ahead by lap 8.The two ran side by side and still were able to pull away from the battle for third between Brad Sheehan, Wichert and Billy Hogue. Lap 13 saw Reid surge ahead before Knapp stormed back in complete lap 14 eventually opening up a lead of a couple car lengths. Reid would close as the two took the white flag but Knapp would drive away to a couple car advantage. Knapp and Reid were followed by Hogue, Jason Fontaine and Brad Sheehan. “Pete and I have been exchanging notes lately trying to get our cars to work … what a race we had tonight,” revealed Knapp in Victory Lane, “Congratulations to Terry and Mr. Holt on their inductions. I’ve got to thank Mike Granton tonight … he has helped us a lot this week – with his old school set up … I could drive it wide open all the way around.”
With Lloyd Holt throwing the ceremonial green flag for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 50 for the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Main Event, it was second generation driver Tyler McPherson that was first to lead the 2013 Jerry Winger Memorial. McPherson set the pace until it was slowed with just one lap on the Lucas Oil Live Leader board after cars came together in Turn 4. McPherson resumed control on the restart with Pete Bicknell pulling alongside right away, taking top spot out of Turn 4 to complete lap 3. McPherson would soon face a challenge from Scott Wood with Mike Bowman joining the battle of the front-runners. With Bicknell settling into an early lead of a couple car lengths, McPherson would battle Bowman to get back in the top three. Wood would slow slightly allowing Bowman and McPherson to get by on lap 15 with McPherson landing back in the runner up spot. McPherson would close in on the leader Bicknell racing to the halfway point with Bowman closing as well. Down the backstretch of lap 26 Bowman would take over second and would close in on Bicknell. Lap 31 would see Bowman take over top spot. Eventually Bowman would pull away to about a straightaway lead through lap traffic. Just as the race to close out the top 5 would heat up, Co-announcers Clint Kruchka and Dana Huffman were unable to call all the excitement after a PA System malfunction just let the action speak for itself. Bowman, Bicknell and McPherson were followed by Fred Carleton and Chad Chevalier who both made last race charges to round out the top 5.
Terry St. Amand would wave the ceremonial green flag to start the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Feature with Lucas Oil team-mates Joey Mastroianni and Adam Leslie leading the field to start the 25 lap event. Mastroianni would be slowed with caution right away as a number of cars came together in Turn 1. Mastroianni would resume control on the restart before two third generation drivers would slow the pace on different occasions. Austin Wood would slow with a flat tire on lap 4 and with Leslie now the leader – the pace would be slowed again on lap 6 after Brent Begolo ended up sitting the wrong way in Turn 1. Leslie resumed control on the restart with Greg Panunte settling into second ahead of a battle for third involving Cody McPherson, Brad Rouse and Rob Knapp. McPherson would take third and quickly closed on the two front-runners. By halfway the leaders had pulled away from Knapp and the field with Panunte making a challenge on lap 15. Leslie would maintain a couple car lead coming into lap traffic before lap 20. On lap 21 with Panunte and McPherson battling for position, contact between the two would slow Panunte but miraculously Panunte only lost a couple spots. Leslie, McPherson and Brad Rouse were followed by Knapp and Darrell Farraway. “I have to thank everyone that helps out … my dad especially … he doesn’t stop working on it,” relayed Adam Leslie in Victory Lane after overcoming so many problems in the first half of the season, “my girlfriend too for putting up with me and Lucas Oil.” Long-time racing supporter Brian Staff once again posted a $100 Bonus to the last car on the lead lap which went to Gord McIntosh.
With the J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lites scheduled for their second TUSA Hoosier Mr. Dirt Racing Series Tour Event, it would be Tim Anderson as the first leader of the 20 lap Special. “I’ve got to thank Ray and Lori Sliter … they put this car together for me to run the special events. Ray and Josh both put a lot of work into it … it’s competitive every time out.” Anderson who won an earlier Series Stop at South Buxton was able to drive away from the field through and beyond the halfway point. Eventually catching slower cars with some 5 laps to go, Anderson opened up almost a half lap lead on Derek Wagner who settled for second. Jason Corless, earlier Merrittville and Humberstone TUSA Winner Josh Sliter and Paul Klager.
“It seemed like I could figure out where the lap cars would go,” revealed Tyler Lafantaisie in Victory Lane, “so it made it easy. A big thank you goes to Rob Goulding who has helped me lately get this car back up to speed.” Garnet Wilson was first to lead the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Feature with the 15 lap event slowed the first time into Turn 1 after a number of cars came together back in the pack. Wilson resumed control but not without a challenge from Nate Monahan who was quickly the new leader. Down the front stretch of lap 2, Mike Sadusek and Tyler Lafantaisie rocketed into the Top 2 Spots with Lafantaisie soon the new leader. The battle for second was the one to watch with Rob Overholt and Kyle Pelrine battling for the spot. Pelrine would take over the runner up spot before lap 10 but would have quite a bit to make up on the leader. Through increasing lap traffic Lafantaisie would maintain a 3 second lead on Pelrine with Evan Curtis taking third. Rob Goulding and Mike Sadusek as the top 5.
Just prior to the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame Inductions, Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modified Driver Tim Jones was announced as the B&C Truck Centre Mack Canada Driver of the Week. Second generation driver James Thompson pulled double duty as the Hoosier Stock driver drove the Lloyd Holt coupe in the Vintage Car portion of the night. Merrittville Speedway’s Reunion Committee of Rick Kavanagh, former drivers Ted Renshaw, Terry Huffman, Bill Willard and Jeno Begolo, Mark Swartz and the Speedway’s Erica Bicknell-Jones and Jim Irvine would like to thank all the ‘Generations’ Drivers that displayed their race cars amongst the Vintage Race Cars including the Wood Family represented by Scott and Austin in addition to Tuesday Night Karter Tucker, BJ Willard, Todd Gordon, Jason Moore, Brent Begolo, Dylan Davidson and Fred Carleton in addition to L. St. Amand Enterprises, CAA Niagara and Auto FX for their support of the 62nd Anniversary Reunion.
UPCOMING AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Semenuk’s Esso and Archer Truck Services will present a Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Event Saturday July 20thth that features the second round of the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinder Triple Crown Series in addition to action in the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds, Rick’s Delivery Sportsman, Hoosier Stock and J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lite Divisions. The Grandstand Gates open at 5:30. Showtime is 7:00. For further information - call the Speedway Office at 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com.
For directions to Merrittville Speedway click on www.merrittvillespeedway.com/track_map For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 62nd Consecutive Season in 2013 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville)
LUCAS OIL SLICK MIST 50 JERRY WINGER MEMORIAL BOBCAT OF HAMILTON DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE (50 laps) Mike Bowman, Pete Bicknell, Tyler McPherson, Fred Carleton, Chad Chevalier, Ryan Susice, Tim Jones, Scott Wood, Bill Bleich, Mat Williamson, Brandon Easey, Mark D’Ilario, Tommy Flannigan, Shayne Pierce, Todd Gordon, Chris Steele, Brett Clark, Erick Rudolph, Ken Winnfield, Rick Hoctor, Robbie Krull.
RICK’S DELIVERY DIRTcar SPORTSMAN – (25 laps) Adam Leslie, Cody McPherson, Brad Rouse, Rob Knapp, Jason Farraway, Boyd MacTavish, Greg Panunte, Gary Lindberg, BJ Willard, Jason Moore, Robbie Rounce, Austin Wood, Joey Mastroianni, Paul Gaboury, Justin Sharp, Jordan Cosco, Robert Baker, Travis Miller, Gord McIntosh, Charlie Lynch, Chris Bellamy, Paul Williamson, Brent Begolo, George Bosse. DNQ – Derek Hodge, Ron MacAulay, Pat Sonnenberg, Paul Cunningham.
HOOSIER STOCK FEATURE (20 laps) Kevin Knapp, Pete Reid, Billy Hogue, Jason Fontaine, Brad Sheehan, Paul Wichert, Rob Murray, Mark Fawcett, Jim Lampman, James Thompson, Bryce Richardson, Mike Green, Marcel Michaud.
J&S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING MODIFIED LITE FEATURE (15 laps) Tim Anderson, Derek Wagner, Jason Corless, Josh Sliter, Rick Koabel, Paul Klager, Randy Hollingshead, Evan Leonard, Rejean LeMieux, Jeffrey May, Dylan Davidsoon, Kory Howe.
TURN 4 COLLISION 4 CYLINDER (15 laps) Tyler Lafantaisie, Kyle Pelrine, Evan Curtis, Rob Overholt, Mike Sadusek, Rob Goulding, Rocco Conte, Jason Coutu, Tony Kelly, Sam Iftody, Chris Laskey, Chris Sheppard, Kevin Conley, Greg Wilson, Kourtney Kocarik, Dillan Sliter, Jeff Larmet, Leroy Buscumb, Nathan Monahan, Brandon Boychuck, Kyle Haynes, Mike Giberson, John Held, Garnet Wilson, Gabriel Attallah, Bob Gill.